Salzburg Scenes

By Eilene Lyon

Our Austrian trip began with a flight into Munich, Germany. At the airport, we bought first-class train tickets to Salzburg. A track delay caused us to miss our connection at the München Ost station. No problem, I thought, I’ll check the schedule and we’ll hop on the next train to Salzburg.

Fifteen minutes into our ride, the conductor checked our tickets and we were summarily ejected at the next station. Who knew that two different railroad companies ran that route? Ah well, no harm. We waited 30 minutes for the next train from our railroad company.

We took a cab from the Salzburg station to the Best Western hotel. Yes, they do have Best Westerns in Europe. We stayed at one in Norway on our last trip across the pond. I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in a more service-oriented hotel in my life. All the staff, from the manager on down, really bent over backward to make sure we had a pleasant stay.

When The Putterer had a little medical issue, the manager got him a taxi ride to the nearest hospital and later inquired if he was okay. The only misstep: the clerk who checked us in neglected to give us the package with all our bike tour information and vouchers.

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The first stop on The Sound of Music tour. The building on the right was used in the film for exterior scenes. The Salzburg castle is upper left.

I brought a list of sights to see, compiled from Atlas Obscura and Trip Advisor. A friend told me that The Sound of Music tour was a must. I noticed the tour visited several places on my list – great!

Do NOT take The Sound of Music tour, unless singing along with the film is your idea of a romping good time. (I must say, we did hear some juicy gossip about Christopher Plummer.)

I had hoped to see the intricate water features at Schloss Hellbrunn. Instead, the tour took us far from the main house to see the gazebo featured in the movie. We had a few minutes to admire a small portion of the garden, take a whiz, and get back on the bus.

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The Putterer next to giant dahlias at Schloss Hellbrun.

We agreed that only the last stop on the tour – the town of Mondsee – had been worthwhile. However, if we’d seen our bike tour information, we would have known that we’d be going through Mondsee on the first day of our ride.

These two disappointments aside, we found Salzburg to be a beautiful city filled with delightful energy and scenic views at every turn. The food was excellent, though a good cup of coffee could not be had for any price. One shop touted American truck-stop coffee, and it definitely lived up to the promise.

 

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Mondsee, on the lake of the same name.
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Interior of the church at Mondsee that was used for the wedding scene in The Sound of Music.
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One of the marble dwarf statues in the dwarf garden at Schloss Mirabell. The dwarves were carved by members of an artist guild in 1695, sold at auction, and recently collected here at the palace.

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We rode a funicular up to the castle above the city to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
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A busy town square below the castle in the old city.
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This ornate meteorological pillar in the old city is a popular geocache, according to Atlas Obscura.

We visited the St. Sebastian Cemetery to relish some of the ghoulish grave decor. Two notable interments are Mozart’s wife, and early physician/philosopher Paracelsus.

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Feature image: View of Salzburg and the river Salzach from an opening in the castle.

28 thoughts on “Salzburg Scenes

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      1. Interesting! I didn’t know that. I do remember that I detested the movie as well, although I don’t remember why. Too sappy, probably. I got quick a kick out of your description of the Sound of Music tour.

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  1. Beautiful photos. I adore The Sound of Music when I was a girl so seeing the inside of the church is a treat for me. Now I shall starting singing the entire soundtrack from that movie, because it is programmed into my brain, even at this point in my life. “High on a hill was a lonely goatherd…”

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    1. I went to visit my mother in memory care a month or so after the trip, and that movie is a real favorite there, so I got to watch it twice in the space of a few days! I like it, too, but… The goatherd song is the best.

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  2. You brought back so many fond memories with this post. My husband and I had a wonderful time in Salzburg 🙂 We didn’t take the official Sound of Music tour, we were able to find most of the sights on the Google machine and hit them up in our own time. Sounds like we covered more ground that way! Still looks like you had a wonderful time though, and the pictures are fabulous 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Even though I love The Sound of Music, I skipped the tour when I was in Salzburg, and after reading your description of it, I have no regrets. I once went to a sing-along screening of it and had to leave early because I got so annoyed. I’ve got a lot of sympathy for the Baroness (Maria is the one stealing her man, after all), and I was not about to boo her. Hope you’re staying well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, the Baroness could use a little sympathy, huh? But she didn’t do much to soften up the Captain. According to the tour guide, in real life the Capt. was a softie and Maria the disciplinarian, but Plummer didn’t want to play it that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Looks like you had a great trip, despite the Sound of Music overdose. I mean, I like the film fine, but who hasn’t seen a gazebo? 😀
    The cemetery pics are awesome! Particular favorites: the skull with the snake and, of course, the hands reaching out. (Maybe I should jot down these ideas for my own tombstone?)

    Liked by 1 person

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